WATERLOO — The city will officially take over ownership of the Summit Softball Complex from the school district.
The Waterloo City Council voted unanimously Monday, 6-0, to purchase the five-acre sports complex from Waterloo Community Schools for $1. Ward 5 council member Ray Feuss was absent.
Community Planning and Development Director Noel Anderson said at Monday night’s council meeting the city has no immediate plans for the property, but infill housing development will likely be on the table. The city discontinued using the site for games and practices several years ago.
Ward 2 council member Jonathan Grieder said some residents of the surrounding neighborhood noted they are wary of a large housing complex being built on that space.
“I know that site is zoned R-3 — that may be why some people are misconstruing,” Anderson said. “But if we did move forward with plans, we would recommend one- and two-family homes back there.”
Shiela Carlson, who lives on Euclid Avenue across from the diamonds, said she is worried about housing being built on the site because EMBARC ran a community garden there, and neighborhood children used it as a park.
“That’s the next closest green space for the kids in the neighborhood,” she said.
Mayor Quentin Hart said any development would come after consideration of the nearby neighbors, and with the community garden in mind.
“We’re not going to just immediately make them move. We don’t have any plans for it yet,” he said.
Resident Forest Dillavou bemoaned the acquisition, saying the city kept buying properties from the school district.
“There’s 100 to 150 vacant lots that we mow,” he said.
Anderson countered that buying and redeveloping former school-owned properties had so far added 49 new homes and $6.89 million in new taxes to the city over the years.
“We are seeing some great things in our partnership with the schools, and we look forward to working with them in the future,” he said.
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